During an annual meteor shower an alien spaceship is observed coming into the Earth’s atmosphere by astronomers Chuck Polcheck (Ed Harris) and Scott Dryden (Tom Mason). Scott and Chuck call in their associate Gwen O’Brien (Melinda O. Fee) and their boss Leonard Nero (Eric Braeden). When the alien ship lands in the desert somewhere near Las Vegas, Scott is sent to investigate.
On board the alien ship one of the entities is sent down to possess the body and mind of Russ Garner (Max Gail). Garner is an engineer that works at Hoover Dam. The aliens are interested in using the hydro powered facility for their own ends. Garner’s friend Harve Nelson (Ron Masak), his wife Sue (Caroline McWilliams) and son Timmy (Matthew Labyorteaux) notice that Garner is acting strangely, however, they are unaware that he is being manipulated by an alien from outer space. Garner’s new boss, Bert Fowler (Laurence Haddon), believes he is a time waster and wants to have him fired. Garner mentally has Fowler commit suicide by grabbing a high voltage cable.
When Scott starts to investigate, the aliens become aware of his probing. The alien Garner attempts to kill him. Failing twice the aliens decide to take over Scott’s body.
“The Aliens are coming” was released in 1980 and was directed by Harvey Hart. It is a made for TV science fiction movie and was a pilot for a science fiction series produced by Quinn Martin Productions. The series was never picked up. Many believe it was a retelling of Martin’s series “The Invaders” that was produced in 1967 and 1968. Quinn Martin did a bunch of television shows, most of them detective series. Other than this pilot, the only one that was science fiction related was “The Invaders”. I believe there eventually was a VHS release done of the film.
It’s not a great movie but it is watchable. There are plot holes but it was supposed to be a series so a lot of things weren’t explored so they could be exploited in some future episode. It is a television pilot that plays like a television pilot, and like a Quinn Martin Production. What you see is what you get, a rather interesting film, but as a series it would have gotten repetitive rather quickly. Other than a few “Dan August” movies, it was the last production done by Martin.
There are several television personalities in the film, many of them from sitcoms from the seventies. In addition to Max Gail, Caroline McWilliams, and the others, are Gerald McRaney and John Milford. A network promo for the movie was done by Casey Kasem.